Important work by overlooked artist

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David Bomberg’s exhibition A Sense of Place opens next week at the Towner Art Gallery.

The show runs from July 9 – September 25 with nearly 40 landscape paintings from of an artist now recognised as one of the most exceptional and original of his generation but not celebrated while he was alive.

Bomberg (1890-1957) was the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who moved to the East End of London when he was five.

After a brief period training as a lithographer, Bomberg studied at the Westminster School of Art under Walter Sickert and later at the Slade School of Fine Art. He was a pioneer of early modernism who created expressionistic landscape paintings and drawings following his experiences during WWI. He was disregarded by the British art establishment until after his death in 1957. It was another three decades before he achieved widespread recognition when Tate Gallery mounted a major retrospective in 1988.

This exhibition brings together significant works from the artist’s almost forty-year period of painting and drawing in landscape. From the 1920s to the late 1950s, Bomberg spent much time abroad, notably in Toledo, Ronda and Asturias in Spain, Cyprus and Palestine as well London and Cornwall.

During WWII Bomberg produced an outstanding series of Bomb Store paintings and charcoal drawings of the blitz-ravaged City of London as seen from a tower near St Paul’s Cathedral- some of these now reside in the collections of IWM London and Tate.

Despite being overlooked as an artist, Bomberg was a well-regarded teacher and in 1947 formed the Borough Group with his students. His last years were overshadowed by the realisation that his art was not respected. His final works are among his most powerful, including a charcoal on paper work, The Bridge at Ronda, 1954 and his last painting, Tajo and Rocks, Ronda (The Last Landscape), 1956- 57.

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